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Sony Pictures' latest edition of #SonaManaHai campaign addresses fathers

On the eve of the UEFA Champions League Knockout stages, Sony Pictures in partnership with Scarecrow M&C Saatchi has unveiled its latest edition of the #SonaManaHai campaign. Here is an overview.

Knockout stages of UEFA Champions League are about to commence and the hype around them has gripped football enthusiasts across the globe. In a bid to promote the highly anticipated series of fixtures – Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid, Manchester City vs Real Madrid, Barcelona vs Napoli, to name a few, Sony Pictures in partnership with Scarecrow M&C Saatchi has crafted the latest edition of the campaign titled #SonaManaHai.

Through a dedicated ad film, the campaign dwells on a subtly comic depiction of a father-son exchange over a late night Champions League football match. In a brief conversation, the kid manages to convince his dad to let him enjoy the match with him. Why? Well, 'Ronaldo and Messi don't play every day'. Now, if you follow football, you would probably know the plight of having to stay up late just to watch your favourite team or player play, especially in the Champions League. Since the matches are played in Europe, the time gap is excruciating for desi game lovers. With these insights, the new ad film picturises a conceivable conversation between a father and his son.

The new ad film is an extension of a previously launched film that featured internet celebrity Gopal Datt, who was seen mocked and ridiculed by his peers and whoever he crossed paths with – for missing a Champions League game due to sleep. Carrying the same communication forward, 'Sona Mana Hai' prioritises UEFA Champions League over sleep.

Given the unconventional portrayal of a father-son relationship in that a father allows his son to stay up late just for football, we wondered how the idea was conceived. We got in touch with Sony Pictures, to get some insights on the campaign. Neville Bastawalla, head - Marketing and On Air Promotions, Sony Pictures Sports Network, says, "We have done Sona Mana Hai for the opening of the Champions League last year with Gopal Datt as the protagonist. This time, we wanted to depict a family setting. With Round of 16 coming up, the tournament gets more interesting, so we wanted to broaden our vision here."

He adds, "It doesn’t matter how cold the nights are, when Ronaldo and Messi play, the youth will watch it. And this time we just wanted to correct that camaraderie between parents and children, which has been captured efficiently in the campaign."

Speaking on the TG, Bastawalla says, “The prequel that featured Gopal Datt was primarily targeting the youth. But with this, we wanted to broaden the horizon, especially with knockout stages of the tournament coming in. The entire scene could get even more interesting if Ronaldo and Messi have a face-off. Youth will obviously connect with this and watch it. But with this film, we have extended our target group to families. We are looking at the age group of 15-40 years as our core target group here.”

Last year, UEFA had announced that there were plans of tailoring match schedules for the convenience of global audiences, especially Asians. But the upcoming fixtures will still demand some sleep-sacrifices from the fans. Bastawalla says, “Sadly, only Group Stage matches (some of them) were played at convenient times for Asians. The knockout stages will still be played at odd hours of the night, given that the matches are played in Europe. Maybe in future, UEFA might schedule matches with better convenience for Asians – possibly in a bid to garner a bigger fan-base.”